Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Friday, May 19, 2006

Crossroad

I’ve mentioned Gavin’s love of music, or rather his love of one song that must be repeated over and over for a month straight before moving onto a new song, before but I have never really touched on the fact that he inherited that gene from me. Anyone who has ever lived with me or ridden in my car could tell you that once I find a song that I like, I listen to that song over and over again until I can’t stand it anymore and then I listen to it once again for good measure. Gavin tends to get hooked on songs that the husband and I like because where else is he going to find out about music? I don’t mind it when he gets hooked on songs that I like (although he even takes my obsession with hearing the same song repeatedly to a whole new level) but when it is one of the husband’s, I strongly encourage him to move on but unfortunately, he seems to prefer Lloyd’s taste in music to mine. The desire to listen to Blink 182 over and over again does NOT come from my gene pool.

For Mother’s Day, Lloyd bought me the new Rascal Flatts c.d. I know, I know. Bah! Pop country music sucks but for one, I never claimed to have good taste in music and for two, Rascal Flatts is pretty darn good. On Wednesday morning while driving the kids to work with me, I put the c.d. in the player. At first, Gavin did not like it and started to kick the back of my seat while saying “Mine… c.d… mine… this… c.d. mine” thus indicating to me that yes, I do have bad taste in music and that Gavin wanted to listen to his c.d. of classical lullabies. Yeah, right. Do you know what it is like to have to drive to work after only a couple hours of sleep and listen to music meant to put people to sleep? Sorry but not gonna happen, Gavinator. But then, song two started playing. All of a sudden the kicking and screaming stopped, Gavin cocked his head to the side to listen much like a dog, his mouth relaxed and the drool began to flow freely, and he began to gently kick his legs in time with the music. Needless to say when the song ended he was begging “More, more, more, peas. More peas”, and we ended up listening to What Hurts the Most the entire drive to work Wednesday, Thursday, and this morning. I can usually tolerate the repeated playing of one song- especially when it is a song that I like- because it keeps him calm and keeps me from either getting the crap kicked out of the back of my chair or running off the road because I fell asleep at the wheel to soothing strains of lullaby music. However, we seem to have a conflict. In my list of weird things about me I shared with you all that:

I’m a total freak about music in that I think I have a touch of sensory dysfunction because certain songs remind me so much of certain places and people that I can smell, see, feel, and practically be exactly where I was and who I was with when I used to hear the song. Some songs bring back memories that are a bit too much to take and I have a hard time listening to them.

It turns out that What Hurts the Most is one of those songs that is hard for me to listen to. Not because it brings back memories but because a certain verse in the song reminds me of a certain time in my life; a time when I was at a crossroad. Unlike most crossroads in my life when it wasn’t until I looked back that I even realized I had been at a crossroad, I knew that time I was standing at one. I knew I had a life altering decision to make regarding which path to take. I also knew immediately that I chose the wrong way and yet I kept going. Why? Why stand at a crossroad and knowingly make the wrong decision and even worse, instead of turning around, keep going? Of course, looking back now, it doesn’t matter. I had plenty of dreams growing up but I never even dared to dream I could have a husband I am so deeply in love with or children I am absolutely smitten with. My life is that good! So what does it matter if I had to take a few wrong turns to get here? I still got here. I still got to where I am supposed to be. I should be thankful for all those wrong turns, right? Rationally, yes. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. But emotionally, when I hear a certain song or when I’m alone in the quiet of my own thoughts, I still haven’t come to terms with the regret I feel over that one decision I made. Making a wrong decision by mistake is something I can get with. Making a wrong decision because I was too afraid to do what I knew was right is difficult for me to get over. It was the one time in my life I sacrificed happiness for safety and no decision in my life has ever been so apparently wrong for so many reasons, not upon reflection but upon actually doing it.

In May of 1999 I spent several weeks in Charleston packing up my belongings before moving to SC for my first job. My boyfriend (and future ex husband) was moving with me but he was still in his hometown spending time with his family and getting packed up. I very much did NOT want him to move with me. I loved him but I wasn’t in love with him. He was someone I could live with but he wasn’t someone I could live without. He didn’t make my heart race but he was fun. He didn’t have a lot of goals but he had made me a lot of promises. He adored me and I loved that someone adored me. However, I didn’t want to be alone and I didn’t think I would be able to find someone who loved me as much as he did so we made plans to move together.

I thought I was in love with someone else (we’ll call him C) and had felt that way for three years but C was only interested in casually dating (read: meeting up for drinks and then getting it on in the front seat of my Saturn). We had been on and off again over the years and while I put up the front that I was cool with the casual three year long fling- aside from the occasional drunken confession of undying love to any of his friends who would listen- inside I was totally and completely head-over-heals, little girl-crush, in crazy love with this kid. I knew he didn’t have the same feelings for me and that was ok but it did hurt to feel so much for one person and never have those feelings reciprocated. I think all those years spent secretly thinking I was in love with someone who never quite felt the same way scared me and while I only have myself to blame, it is why I sought out the relationship I had with my future ex husband. I wanted someone to love me and adore me without having to give anything back. To love someone is to give up part of your self and I felt like I had spent three years giving up too much of me. In my ex, I had found someone I could live with, perhaps even for the rest of my life, but I didn’t have to take the heart-wrenching and risky leap of finding someone I couldn’t live without. Loving with your head is much easier than loving with your heart. Or so I thought.

So here I was getting ready to make the big move and C and I decided to go out for a good bye dinner. After dinner we went for a walk around the state Capitol- something we had done frequently during our dating days- and we sat and talked. About what I can’t remember because inside I was dying. I fought the lump in my throat and struggled to breathe with what felt like a vice around my heart. This was going to be the last time I saw him and I just wanted to stand up and scream “I think I love you! There! I said it!” It didn’t matter if he loved me back or not and that’s really not the point. The point was that because I was too afraid of ever loving someone who didn’t love me back again, I was getting ready to move away and commit to someone I didn’t even love and all the while thinking I was really in love with someone else. If I told C I loved him… if I just said it out loud… if there was just another witness to my true feelings other than the inside of my heart… then maybe, just maybe, my head would finally get the message and maybe I would do what was right. Scary, but right.

Take the risk.

I didn’t take the risk. I dropped him off and cried the whole way home. I cried the whole way to SC and I spent the next 3 years crying. It didn’t take me long to get over C but I still haven’t gotten over taking the safe road. I found out it hurts much, much more to be in a relationship with someone you don’t love than to love someone who doesn’t love you back. The safe road turned out to be the one that hurt the most. Who knew? I did learn from my mistake, though. When I met my husband, I knew he could totally break my heart but rather than shying away from him, I told him exactly how I felt. It was so unbelievably frightening to put myself out there and risk getting hurt but it was also so unbelievably amazing. I lost so much during those years I spent living in fear and letting my head rather than my heart lead the way. That said, I am glad my wrong turn took me here but it seems to me that here is so right that I imagine any number of roads would have brought me here. While I don’t live under a shadow of regret and it is only the occasional sad country song that can make me think about it enough to write about it, I am not quite sure how to come to terms with making a decision out of fear that affected so many people. I mourn the loss of the years I spent loving with my head.

But I wouldn’t trade right now for anything. I guess that’s all that matters. Well that, and getting Gavin hooked on a new song so I don’t think so damn much.



What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away





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2 Comments:

Anonymous Rachel said...

Wow....what a post. I, too, have been in the position where I took the past of least resistance even though everything in me was screaming "Don't do it!!!" I think it was very brave of you to get out of that situation & search for true happiness.

As for the songs....I do the exact same thing. It drives my husband crazy...listening to the same song over...and over...and over...LOL I have some family in W.Va. ...maybe we're distant cousins or something.LOL

5:13 PM  
Anonymous rachel said...

that should be path...not past

5:14 PM  

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